Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in cancer patients in the United States. It can affect both men and women, and the most frequent cause of lung cancer is smoking. However people who do not smoke can also get lung cancer. Besides smoking, the common causes include second hand smoking, exposure to certain chemicals such as asbestos, chromium, arsenic and radon gas and alcoholism. You may be at greater risk of lung cancer if you have any chronic lung conditions of if your family members have a history of such cancer.
Stages and Symptoms
There are several stages of lung cancer. The first stage involves just the affected tissue in the lungs. The second stage involves surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. In the third stage the cancer has spread on the chest and all of the organs in the chest and the lymph nodes. The fourth stage includes metastasis to the other internal organs. In the early stages lung cancer may not have any symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may develop the symptoms such as persistent coughing, blood in the cough up, breath shortness, pain in the chest, changes in voice, unexplained loss of weight, headaches, tiredness and pain in the bones
Your doctor will determine the treatment according to the stage of lung cancer and your overall health condition. The treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and additional care of symptoms. In severe cases the patient will need a combination of these treatments. If your cancer was diagnosed in the first stage, a surgery will be performed to remove the affected tissue and in some cases chemotherapy will be given. The second stage includes surgery radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In this case the affected lymph nodes will be removed during the surgery as well. The third stage is similar to the second depending on the outcome of the surgery. In the fourth stage the patient will need additional treatments because the cancer affected the other organs.
Although alternative treatments methods do not provide a cure for lung cancer, they may have a positive impact on the overall health condition of the patient and the quality of life. Such alternative methods include yoga, acupuncture, massage, hypnosis and meditation.
In order to reduce the risk of lung cancer, you should quit smoking limit the exposure to second hand smoke and dangerous chemicals, eat healthy, drink a lot of fluids do exercises and visit your doctor on a regular bases.